Return to Review
If you're stuck in a browser frame - click here to view this same page in Quantonics!

A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Creative Evolution
Chapter I: The Evolution of Life Mechanism and Teleology
Topic 2: Unorganized Bodies
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review

Chapter I II
Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
Chapter III IV
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Creative Evolution,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links
says, "You are here!")

Topic 2...............Unorganized Bodies


(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


"For the moment, we will confine ourselves to pointing out that the abstract time t attributed by science to a material object or to an isolated system consists only in a certain number of simultaneities or more generally of correspondences, and that this number remains the same, whatever be the nature of the intervals between the correspondences. With these intervals we are never concerned when dealing with inert matter; or, if they are considered, it is in order to count therein fresh correspondences, between which again we shall not care what happens. Common sense, which is occupied with detached objects, and also science, which considers isolated systems, are concerned only with the ends of the intervals and not with the intervals themselves. Therefore the flow of time might assume an infinite rapidity, the entire past, present, and future of material objects or of isolated systems might be spread out all at once in space, without there being anything to change either in the formulae of the scientist or even in the language of common sense. The number t would always stand for the same thing; it would still count the same number of correspondences between the states of the objects or systems and the points of the line, ready drawn, which would be then the "course of time."

"Yet succession is an undeniable fact, even in the material world. [8Jun2001 reflexion - We agree. However classical succession differs greatly from quantum succession. Where classical succession is single event analytic/inanimate, unitemporal, unilogical, etc., quantum succession is ensemble event, complementary/animate, paratemporal, paralogical, etc. It is worth your while to consider Bergson's uses of 'optimism,' and other terms in a similar manner. Doug.] Though our reasoning on isolated systems may imply that their history, past, present, and future, might be instantaneously unfurled like a fan, this history, in point of fact, unfolds itself gradually, as if it occupied a duration like our own. If I want to mix a glass of sugar and water, I must, willy nilly, wait until the sugar melts. This little fact is big with meaning. For here the time I have to wait is not that mathematical time which would apply equally well to the entire history of the material world, even if that history were spread out instantaneously in space."

(Our bold and color.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary

For a fascinating discussion and resolution of Newtonian analytical object-space-time issues hinted here by Bergson, see Irving Stein's book, The Concept of Object as the Foundation of Physics. See especially Chapter III, 'Classical Object,' sections 1-13, pp. 21-26 of 100 total, Peter Lang Pub's., 1996, hardbound.

Bergson's statement appears to hold in posentropy. We think it adopts different philosophical tenor in both zeroentropy (bosons and BECs; "succession" may be meaningless or imply before or after and/or both) and negentropy (VES/isoflux; "succession" may be meaningless or imply both before and after, and both isobefores and isoafters). See Irving Stein's discussions, on nonspace, in our review of his, The Concept of Object as the Foundation of Physics.


"It coincides with my impatience, that is to say, with a certain portion of my own duration ' which I cannot protract or contract as I like. It is no longer something thought, it is something lived. It is no longer a relation, it is an absolute. What else can this mean than that the glass of water, the sugar, and the process of the sugar's melting in the water are abstractions, and that the Whole within which they have been cut out by my senses and understanding progresses, it may be in the manner of a consciousness?

"Certainly, the operation by which science isolates and closes a system is not altogether artificial. If it had no objective foundation, we could not explain why it is clearly indicated in some cases and impossible in others. We shall see that matter has a tendency to constitute isolable systems, that can be treated geometrically. In fact, we shall define matter by just this tendency. But it is only a tendency. Matter does not go to the end, and the isolation is never complete. If science does go to the end and isolate completely, it is for convenience of study; it is understood that the so-called isolated system remains subject to certain external influences. Science merely leaves these alone either because it finds them slight enough to be negligible, or because it intends to take them into account later on. It is none the less true that these influences are so many threads which bind up the system to another more extensive, and to this a third which includes both, and so on to the system most objectively isolated and most independent of all, the solar system complete. But, even here, the isolation is not absolute. Our sun radiates heat and light beyond the farthest planet. And, on the other hand, it moves in a certain fixed direction, drawing with it the planets and their satellites. The thread attaching it to the rest of the universe is doubtless very tenuous."

(Our bold and color.)

We might say it differently, "Experiences lived are absolute changes of interrelationships." Doug.

One may infer Bergson's intuition of reality's constituents as "non-isolable." Now we know that quantum reality's quantons are nonisolable.

His use of "influences" helps us infer his intuition of an affective and qualitative quantum reality. Amazing! Doug.

"Nevertheless it is along this thread that is transmitted down to the smallest particle of the world in which we live the duration immanent to the whole of the universe.

"The universe endures. The more we study the nature of time, the more we shall comprehend that duration means invention, the creation of forms, the continual elaboration of the absolutely new. The systems marked off by science endure only because they are bound up inseparably with the rest of the universe. It is true that in the universe itself two opposite movements are to be distinguished, as we shall see later on, "descent" and "ascent." The first only unwinds a roll ready prepared. In principle, it might be accomplished almost instantaneously, like releasing a spring. But the ascending movement, which corresponds to an inner work of ripening or creating, endures essentially, and imposes its rhythm on the first, which is inseparable from it.

"There is no reason, therefore, why a duration, and so a form of existence like our own, should not be attributed to the systems that science isolates, provided such systems are reintegrated into the Whole. But they must be so reintegrated. The same is even more obviously true of the objects cut out by our perception. The distinct outlines which we see in an object, and which give it its individuality, are only the design of a certain kind of influence that we might exert on a certain point of space: it is the plan of our eventual actions that is sent back to our eyes, as though by a mirror, when we see the surfaces and edges of things. Suppress this action, and with it consequently those main directions which by perception are traced out for it in the entanglement of the real, and the individuality of the body is re-absorbed in the universal interaction which, without doubt, is reality itself."

(Our bold and color.)

On page 11 Bergson shows us he intuits much of quantum reality! Awesome! We, using his own intuitions of heterogeneity, would alter his phrase to "these threads."

Consider Pirsig's claim that his
SPoV levels hierarchically "invent" their higher superior layer.

Bergson offers us a very simple entropic ontology. Consider how he, unique among philosophers, makes 'unbecoming' first. It will be fun to see if he tumbles to nonbeing, i.e., to see if his duration recursively iterates like butterflies in their unending metamorphoses.

"Now, we have considered material objects generally. Are there not some objects privileged? The bodies we perceive are, so to speak, cut out of the stuff of nature by our perception, and the scissors follow, in some way, the marking of lines along which action might be taken. But the body which is to perform this action, the body which marks out upon matter the design of its eventual actions even before they are actual, the body that has only to point its sensory organs on the flow of the real in order to make that flow crystallize into definite forms and thus to create all the other bodies—in short, the living body—is this a body as others are?

"Doubtless it, also, consists in a portion of extension bound up with the rest of extension, an intimate part of the Whole, subject to the same physical and chemical laws that govern [classical government 'rules' something not itself...] any and every portion of matter. But, while the subdivision of matter into separate bodies is relative to our perception, while the building up of closed off systems of material points is relative to our science, the living body has been separated and closed off by nature herself. It is composed of unlike parts that complete each other. It performs diverse functions that involve each other. It is an [gn¤stic] individual, and of no other object, not even of the crystal, can this be said, for a crystal has neither difference of parts nor diversity of functions. No doubt, it is hard to decide, even in the organized world, what is individual and what is not. The difficulty is great, even in the animal kingdom; with plants it is almost insurmountable. This difficulty is, moreover, due to profound causes, on which we shall dwell later. We shall see that individuality admits of any number of degrees, and that it is not fully realized anywhere, even in man. But that is no reason for thinking it is not a characteristic property of life."

Added red brackets. Doug - 3Jul2009

(Our bold and color.)

Remember, Pirsig tells us Static Quality has temporary "privilege." Why? Dynamic Quality is absolute!

Consider Bergson's "scissors" vis-à-vis Pirsig's classical "knife" in ZMM.


Bergson's use of 'laws' here shows his own tendencies to return to SOM. Formality, orthodox mechanism, has n¤ place in quantum~chæmistry...anymore than it has a place in any scihænce. Dialectic is bogus! Nature offers us, in general, n¤ classical bivalencies. All interrelationshipings are evolving, stochastic, dynamic, EIMA quantum~partial~complementarityings. Any dialectical notion of 'state-ic' law is simply bogus in quantum~reality. See phase and phasemental.

Recall how Mae-wan Ho told us about quanton(coherence,autonomy)? She referred Bergson. This is an exemplar paragraph of her referral. Bergson nails it! N¤ thing is objectively separate (lisr). N¤ thing has formal state. Doug knows of only one quantum~memeo which describes in a single word that kind of reality: hologram. That qua of wisdom is what Doug views as quantum~gn¤sis. Real holograms evolve. Real evolving holograms scale nature's entire spectra of entropa and cohera, as interrelationshipings' quanta(isoflux,flux).

Every quantum~hologram's energy well attractors are both individually autonomous and wholly and systemically coherent: quanton(partial_systemic_wholeness,partial_systemic_individuality).

Quantonics HotMeme™ "Quantum~individuality tends locality, while quantum~coherence tends apparent~globality."™ Quantonics HotMeme

Bergson's "admits of any number of degrees," is real evolving (always unfinished), subjective, qualitative, quantum~partiality.

Doug - 3Jul2009.

Return to Chapter Index

To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 # 368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2012 Rev. 8Aug2012  PDR Created: 20Sep2000  PDR
(8Jun2001 rev - Page 9 bracketed reflexion. Add p. 11 links to Quantonic remediations of 'absolute' and 'new.')
(14Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame breaker.)
(30Apr2002 rev - Typos, spelling.)
(23Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(25Aug2002 rev - Add 'consensus' link to common sense above.)
(12Nov2002 rev - Add p. 9 text bracketed comment 'paratemporal' link.)
(7Jun2005 rev - Change some colors. Release page constraints. Replace some wingdings fonts with GIFs for compatibility.)
(15Sep2006 rev - Adjust colors and reformat.)
(22Feb2007 rev - Adjust format.)
(14Nov2007 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(3Jul2009 rev - Add p. 12 comments re: 'law' and 'individuality.')
(8Aug2012 rev - Add p. 11 text link to Doug's 'What is Immanence?')

Return to Review